POLITICAL blogging throws up many great political issues of import on which various writers, viewing them from their own unique perspectives, will inevitably disagree. Iain Dale and I, for instance, agree on few things and disagree about a great many.
But no issue has exposed the chasm between us more then “Mama Mia!“, which I saw last night.
The last time I walked out of the cinema before the movie was finished was in 1981 (Halloween 2, if you’re interested). I was tempted to do it again last night. I didn’t, because it’s so very un-British to draw attention to oneself in that way. So I stayed. And I watched every sodding last minute. That I did so through the gaps between my fingers might give you a clue as to my opinion of the movie.
Where to begin? I know where to end: as I left the cinema I turned to Carolyn and said: “I feel dirty.”
But where to begin? With the “acting”? Can it actually be described as such? Wasn’t Meryl Streep once Hollywood’s most respected female star? I know it was supposed to be camp, but what worked on stage (and I have no idea if Mama Mia! worked on stage or not) doesn’t necessarily work in the same way on screen. There’s no need, in a movie, to over-act as if trying to be heard by those in the cheap seats. You don’t need to mug to the audience so that those sitting 50 yards away can detect your facial expression; this is cinema! Isn’t Ms Streep familiar with the medium?
Almost every song was just cringeworthy, with really bad acting all round and a script to die (from embarrassment) for. The very worst thing was any scene featuring Streep with her two best friends, Christine Baranski (Tanya) and Julie Walters (Rosie). Watching these women prance around “really enjoying themselves” (as I’m sure they’ve described the experience in pre-publicity interviews) was just toe-curling.
Amanda Seyfried as Streep’s daughter, Sophie, was about the only thing worth watching in the whole sorry affair, though she would have been more watchable if she just stood still for a whole song instead of running around. Which everyone did. All the time. A lot.
And that brings me to Pierce Brosnan. Yes, his singing was dreadful, but so what? It was his agreement to be in this film that was truly regrettable.
Do yourself a favour: if you haven’t already seen this movie, don’t. Instead, go out and buy Abba’s greatest hits CD, and have a sing and a dance in the privacy of your own home, in the sure and certain knowledge that, however embarrassed you may feel, you’ll be turning in a more entertaining performance than the cast of “Mama Mia!”.
“Act your age, mum. Or at least ACT…”